Serbs decide to spend night at barricades

It was peaceful on Thursday evening at the 18 barricades put up by Serbs in northern Kosovo, Beta news agency is reporting.

Izvor: Beta

Thursday, 20.10.2011.

09:15

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It was peaceful on Thursday evening at the 18 barricades put up by Serbs in northern Kosovo, Beta news agency is reporting. A large number of local residents - along with their councilors - will spend the night at the road blocks in the municipalities of Kosovska Mitrovica, Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic. Serbs decide to spend night at barricades They expect that KFOR will in the morning once again attempt to remove their barricades by force, but say they are determined to maintain the blockades as a form of protest until Kosovo Albanian authorities' customs and police officers have been withdrawn from administrative line checkpoints. The Serbs at the barricades told reporters tonight they will remain "calm and persistent, and will not fall for provocations." KFOR troops started removing the barricade in Jagnjenica on Thursday morning and used tear gas to disperse local Serbs. They threatened to use force unless the citizens obeyed their order. This evening after 18:00 CET those manning the barricades at Jagnjenica and Zupce were joined by other Serbs, who came from the towns of Leposavic, Zvecan and Kosovska Mitrovica. One group arrived in an organized convoy of buses, while other citizens traveled to the road blocks in their cars. Previously on Thursday, the health center in Zubin Potok said that 22 local Serbs were hurt during KFOR's attempts to remove the barricades - all but three lightly. Their injuries were inflicted by tear-gas thrown by KFOR. Around 15:00 CET, representatives of the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, showed up at Jagnjenica, "to inform themselves about the wounded". Previously, the NATO forces in the province announced that eight of their members were also injured. The military mission did not reveal the severity of the wounds, but reports suggest the soldiers sustained injuries "from tear gas, smoke, and fire extinguishers". A KFOR convoy also arrived to the barricade in the village of Zupce. Both barricades are placed on the road leading to the Brnjak checkpoint. There were no activities near the Jarinje administrative crossing. Telekom and Telenor cell phone networks are being disrupted in the area. A tense standoff is playing out near Jagnjenica, where Serbs are gathered in large numbers, while German members of KFOR placed barbed wire behind the barricade - according to reports. In the meantime, KFOR and the EU mission in the province, EULEX, said they removed some road blocks in close proximity to Brnjak itself, to put their checkpoint there. High ranking official of the ruling SPS party Dusan Bajatovic, who also chairs the Serbian parliament's Committe on Defense and Security, has reached Kosovo, it has been confirmed. KFOR launched its action to remove a truck which was blocking the roads towards the Brnjak administrative crossing on Thursday morning. KFOR removed one of the three trucks, which were used to block the road, but local Serbs brought two more trucks - one loaded with cement and the other one with logs, earlier on Thursday. They fortified the barricade and blocked KFOR members and their convoy. According to Beta news agency reporter, more Serbs were arriving to the barricade in Jagnjenica where local residents were sitting on the road with their backs turned to KFOR troops. Serbian Ministry for Kosovo State Secretary Oliver Ivanovic was also seen at the scene. KFOR Spokesman Uwe Nowitzki said earlier on Thursday that KFOR's operation in the municipality of Zubin Potok was a success and that KFOR would continue its operations aimed at establishing freedom of movement in Kosovo. "KFOR has managed to put the Brnjak administrative crossing under its control, as well as the alternative road around the crossing, which was being used for smuggling," Nowitzki told Tanjug. According to him, KFOR will continue its operations aimed at establishing freedom of movement in Kosovo and providing safety for all citizens. Nowitzki reminded that KFOR was "responsible for the freedom of movement and security in the entire territory of Kosovo". He did not specify if KFOR would carry out operations in other parts of northern Kosovo. KFOR troops first formed a cordon between the Serbs and the barricades. They have riot equipment and used tear gas in an attempt to disperse the gathered Serbs who have refused to leave. Citizens have gathered at the barricade near the Jarinje checkpoint out of precaution, Leposavic Mayor Radoslav Ninic has said. KFOR soldiers at the barricades (Tanjug)

Serbs decide to spend night at barricades

They expect that KFOR will in the morning once again attempt to remove their barricades by force, but say they are determined to maintain the blockades as a form of protest until Kosovo Albanian authorities' customs and police officers have been withdrawn from administrative line checkpoints.

The Serbs at the barricades told reporters tonight they will remain "calm and persistent, and will not fall for provocations."

KFOR troops started removing the barricade in Jagnjenica on Thursday morning and used tear gas to disperse local Serbs.

They threatened to use force unless the citizens obeyed their order.

This evening after 18:00 CET those manning the barricades at Jagnjenica and Zupče were joined by other Serbs, who came from the towns of Leposavić, Zvečan and Kosovska Mitrovica.

One group arrived in an organized convoy of buses, while other citizens traveled to the road blocks in their cars.

Previously on Thursday, the health center in Zubin Potok said that 22 local Serbs were hurt during KFOR's attempts to remove the barricades - all but three lightly. Their injuries were inflicted by tear-gas thrown by KFOR.

Around 15:00 CET, representatives of the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, showed up at Jagnjenica, "to inform themselves about the wounded".

Previously, the NATO forces in the province announced that eight of their members were also injured. The military mission did not reveal the severity of the wounds, but reports suggest the soldiers sustained injuries "from tear gas, smoke, and fire extinguishers".

A KFOR convoy also arrived to the barricade in the village of Zupče. Both barricades are placed on the road leading to the Brnjak checkpoint. There were no activities near the Jarinje administrative crossing.

Telekom and Telenor cell phone networks are being disrupted in the area.

A tense standoff is playing out near Jagnjenica, where Serbs are gathered in large numbers, while German members of KFOR placed barbed wire behind the barricade - according to reports.

In the meantime, KFOR and the EU mission in the province, EULEX, said they removed some road blocks in close proximity to Brnjak itself, to put their checkpoint there.

High ranking official of the ruling SPS party Dušan Bajatović, who also chairs the Serbian parliament's Committe on Defense and Security, has reached Kosovo, it has been confirmed.

KFOR launched its action to remove a truck which was blocking the roads towards the Brnjak administrative crossing on Thursday morning.

KFOR removed one of the three trucks, which were used to block the road, but local Serbs brought two more trucks - one loaded with cement and the other one with logs, earlier on Thursday.

They fortified the barricade and blocked KFOR members and their convoy.

According to Beta news agency reporter, more Serbs were arriving to the barricade in Jagnjenica where local residents were sitting on the road with their backs turned to KFOR troops.

Serbian Ministry for Kosovo State Secretary Oliver Ivanović was also seen at the scene.

KFOR Spokesman Uwe Nowitzki said earlier on Thursday that KFOR's operation in the municipality of Zubin Potok was a success and that KFOR would continue its operations aimed at establishing freedom of movement in Kosovo.

"KFOR has managed to put the Brnjak administrative crossing under its control, as well as the alternative road around the crossing, which was being used for smuggling," Nowitzki told Tanjug.

According to him, KFOR will continue its operations aimed at establishing freedom of movement in Kosovo and providing safety for all citizens.

Nowitzki reminded that KFOR was "responsible for the freedom of movement and security in the entire territory of Kosovo".

He did not specify if KFOR would carry out operations in other parts of northern Kosovo.

KFOR troops first formed a cordon between the Serbs and the barricades. They have riot equipment and used tear gas in an attempt to disperse the gathered Serbs who have refused to leave.

Citizens have gathered at the barricade near the Jarinje checkpoint out of precaution, Leposavić Mayor Radoslav Ninić has said.

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